whats the big deal about paddle drip?

Buy a SOT and
be done with it!

Last creek trip, I filled the footwells and seat on my Torrent to the brim to cool off and 5 seconds later, it’s all gone. No sponging, pumping, draining, bailing, and absolutely no whining.

It’s also great fun to suggest the canoers put a couple of scupper holes in their boats when they start in about having water at their feet.


I’m a canoeist and don’t mind getting
wet. Paddling in the rain tomorrow.

Change your approach to canoeing
Here are three views that work for me.

  1. If you don’t want to get dripped on by a double blade, get a decked kayak. (But you’ll get wet in other ways.)

  2. If you want to paddle an open canoe, toss the double blade, learn proper single blade technique and stay with it in all conditions.

  3. Paddling is a wet sport. Always. A paddler bothered by wetness is like a hiker being bothered by dirty shoes or a skier bothered by a cold snowflake on her nose.

Not to me
Kayakers are stuck with paddle-drips, and for them it’s part of the sport, something you must accept. Not so for canoers, at least not necessarily so. On those occassion where paddle drips are uncomfortable or inconvenient to deal with (such as making your hands cold during bailing or sponging, or creating the need to place covers over yourself or to wear clothing that may not be appropriate for other activities associated with the boat trip), I see nothing wrong with prefering a paddling method that eliminates the problem entirely. That would be a single-blade, which for me that just works so much better to begin with that it’s all I use (I started out double-blading solo canoes because single-blading was too difficult, but since I learned to be pretty good with a single-blade, I can’t stand doubles anymore, and would only use one in dire circumstances of high wind or where every extra fraction of a mile-per-hour in speed was important).

Here’s an analogy: If you go hiking or camping in the winter, you expect to get a little cold, right? After all, it’s a cold-weather sport so it would be ludicrous to worry about being cold. The truth is, anything you can do to be LESS cold is worth its weight in gold.

Statement #2 and #3 are in conflict

– Last Updated: Jun-05-09 4:39 PM EST –

I agree with Statement #2 - using a single-blade will always allow you to stay dry if other factors aren't at work splashing you. As to Statement #3, you don't "always" need to be wet. It's one thing to capsize or get splashed in rough water and to be fully prepared to deal with it, but it's another thing entirely to be fully capable of staying dry but choosing a paddling method that makes staying dry impossible. Using a double-blade in a canoe instead of a single during times when staying dry is a nice option would be like not putting up the top on a convertable when it rains, just because you can still drive without it. No offense to anyone who'd rather put on a raincoat than put the top up, but that's not how I would go about it.

Not in conflict to me
I paddle with a single blade because that is what I prefer and how I think canoes should be propelled. For me, that preference has absolutely nothing to do with getting wet.

I always expect to get wet when paddling, no matter what boat or paddle I use. I’ll say it again: paddling is a wet sport. If someone is trying very hard to avoid drops of water while they are in a canoe, then they are not in that canoe primarily for the sport of paddling. They may be in the canoe for the sport of fishing, the hobby of bird watching, the business of moving from here to there – but, in my lingo, they are not in the canoe for the sport of paddling.

All aspects of the sport of paddling are wet: whitewater, rapids, waves, dumping, flipping, Eskimo rolling, deep bracing, rain, snow, tripping, camping, lining, wading, pulling the canoe over logs, portaging, and simply stepping in and out of a canoe or kayak. You do it all in water from the earth or sky. It’s unavoidable and fun – intrinsic to the sport of paddling.

Greenland paddling is wet
paddling and i prefer a sprayskirt especially high angle paddling with green sludge/weeds/other unknown substances in a lake that is close to me for practice. I prefer that to stay where it is - not on me although my hands get it - the price i have to pay.

It depends
on what conditions and climate you’re in.

During my WFA class the instructor showed very graphic pictures of infections and “trench foot”… one infection was from someone wearing neoprene booties. It starts to look like a bad blister or big pimple full of puss, then starts to spread and you are in serious trouble…

I asked the instructor how long it would take to get trench foot and he said in as little as a few hours in cold and wet conditions… at that point we were trained how to start removing dead tissue from the bottom of the feet and what not…

so if you are in a cold wet climate being wet and cold isn’t good…

Paddling faster avoids lily dripping *NM

Trenchfoot - yikes!
Never heard that before, but I’ll use that one on my wife when I need a new drysuit :wink:

As for the wet/dry debate, I can stay dry if I want to, but its much more fun to get a little water in the boat.


Hi all…in my opinion…paddles drip is not a “problem” as much as it just an annoying aspect of using paddles of any kind. think …faucet drip in the sink…not a problem as much as it’s a little thing that drives ya nuts ! the drip issue IMO is confined to open boats like canoe’s and rec kayaks with large cockpit openings. it’s just a irritating issue when you are trying to stay dry on a already chilly/cool/cloudy day on the water. Not all of us can afford or want to buy big $$$ waterproof pants that are a specific use item, or go thru the routine of changing out clothing at every paddling session. BTW, i use a wax on my paddle blades, helps shed the water faster. The blades do acquire an amount of microscopic dirt/ mineral scale from use that helps retains the water droplets… it pays to take a scrub brush and cleaner to them once in awhile. happy paddling all.

that’s funny!
well I’m down south so I get my feet wet all year long on day trips…

as far as dry suits go, if you do a lot of porting all year long then the seem in the gortex socks for the dry suit will wear out over time? They there is a place where water can get in between the socks and dry suit pants?

just sayin if someone is out there for days or weeks then the idea is to stay dry and warm…

if you are just out for a little day trip with not gloves maybe it doesn’t matter…

you all are tuff up north!

It isn’t “many people.” Double blade
open canoeists are a tiny minority. I’ve used a double blade now and then since '73, and for certain situations it does help. But if double blade canoeing were THAT obvious a solution, it would have gotten popular long ago.

So, I don’t think the huge majority needs to explain why we use single bladed paddles or why we haven’t switched over. Nothing succeeds like success.

A double blade in a canoe is a useful option for some purposes, like a pole, or a rowing rig, or a sail, or a motor. A properly chosen, properly used single blade remains the most useful tool for the widest range of conditions.

This seems to be a much bigger deal than what I thought. Again, with my 260mm double blade, I get NO water in my 32" wide canoe. Try it.

For the record, if I was getting water dripped all over me, I’d dump the double blade. I DO NOT expect to get wet while out canoeing. This is why I’m in my canoe rather than swimming…the aim is to stay dry. If I was expecting to get wet like some people, I might want to figure out why I keep splashing myself, or keep tipping over my canoe. Expecting to enjoy paddling your canoe AND staying dry isn’t asking too much in my book.

i also think it’s a little foolish to state that just because it’s a canoe, you should use a single blade paddle. That’s a silly statement unless you’ve paddled every boat made, while weighing every possible body weight, with every possible arm length and torso height, etc. Too many variables to list. This is the great thing abiut our sport…there are no…or shouldn’t be any standards. Just do what works for you. I saw a guy once stabding on the gunwhales of his canoe, and using a very large…probably 80 inch paddle. I have no idea where he got such a long paddle, or how on earth he got up on those gunwhales without flipping over…but he did, and it was working for him. I thought that was awesome.

So anyway, do what you want…whatever works for you on a particular day, or in a particular condition. Experiment! Dont stick to a standard…there are way too many variables in this sport to be stagnant in your techniques.

No one said that one has to use a single
blade. But as I said earlier, some of us have used both kinds of paddles for decades, and single blades still predominate. That says something. It isn’t the drip of a double blade that keeps me from using it routinely. It’s the clumsiness and diminished effectiveness in maneuvers.

As for your low angle style, I’m sure it’s very comfortable, but it gives away some of the forward drive possible with high angle. And, a proper sharp catch with a high angle paddle will shake off most of the water before it gets in the boat. All outright performance uses of the double blade are high angle. If I wanted to fool around with a low angle paddle in an open boat, I could do just as well with a single blade.

I don’t know
paddle grip just seems like something you gotta figure out.